Posted on: December 30, 2020

It is very common for wholesaling newbies to experiment when it comes to lead generation channels. Today’s guests are no exception.

Eric Wargo and James Walters are two business partners who have found radio after experimenting with various lead generation channels. In this episode, they also shared what their experience with radio has been like.

However, this is a radio success story with a twist: they advertised on a Spanish radio station! Find out why they chose a Spanish speaking station and where their choice to try radio has taken them. This is one inspiring radio story so don’t miss it!

Key Takeaways

  • Who they are and how long they have been business partners
  • Why they decided to team up
  • Their challenge getting in front of the homeowners
  • Conversation they had with themselves
  • What prompted them to try radio
  • Average calls they get a week off radio
  • How much they are spending on radio ads
  • Why they chose a Spanish speaking station
  • Where they are now mentally
  • What they’d tell those who would like to try radio

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Episode Transcription

Chris Arnold:
Welcome to the Wholesaling Inc. podcast. I’m your host, Chris Arnold, always glad that you’re here to hang out with us today. I’m talking with a couple of business partners. This is always interesting. When you look at a solopreneur versus two people that decided really to come together and team up. And so here’s what you’re going to get today. This is an interesting interview, because I know some of you listening out there feel like you might’ve been spinning your wheels, trying to get the lead generation piece up, trying to crack the code on what that looks like. And so with my two guests today, we’re going to talk about life before they were utilizing a particular marketing channel, and then life after. And I think it’s super interesting, because we are going to be talking about radio, but also Spanish stations, which I actually don’t think we brought up yet on the podcast, because that is just a whole ‘nother place of value to do radio.
So today I got Eric Wargo and his business partner, James Walters. What’s up, fellows? Welcome to the show. Glad to have you guys.

Eric Wargo:
Thank you.

Chris Arnold:
So give us a quick background, Eric. How long have you guys been business partners? How long have you been in real estate? Where you guys doing deals out of? Give everyone a snapshot. Who are you guys?

Eric Wargo:
Okay. Well, James and I had actually worked together in marketing before, but we have been doing real estate for about three months together. I’d been doing real estate for about three years-

Chris Arnold:
This is a fresh partnership, like three months.

James Walters:
Honeymoon stage, right?

Chris Arnold:
Yeah. You guys are in the honeymoon stage, but this is going to be interesting. Let’s pick it apart. So let me ask you James, why choose a partner? Why decide to team up with Eric or anyone, for that matter?

James Walters:
Yeah. Partnerships, in my experience, can be tough, but I think they work well when you’re not trying to do the same things, right? And Eric and I came together and the way we fit together worked well. We’re not overlapping each other. We’re not trying to tell each other what to do. We have different roles. And so it just aligned and it worked.

Chris Arnold:
So you guys see that your differences being brought together is going to obviously create some synergy. And that’s what I tell people. You don’t want your business partner to be exactly like you. Kind of like your wife or your husband. You want to have some overall balance, a little bit of a yin and yang within the relationship. So I see that you guys obviously have that. We were talking about that a little bit before. Now, even though you’ve been partners for three months and kind of launched this thing together, Eric, on your side, you were for the last, what was it, would you say year, two years? Really just trying to get traction and figure out this whole investment thing. Is that right?

Eric Wargo:
Right. I was just trying to be able to get in front of the homeowners, which I could never get a homeowner to get in front of.

Chris Arnold:
So, this is good that you’re talking about this, because I think sometimes we listen to podcasts and a lot of times we’ll bring on a guest that has somehow done it real quickly. But I know a lot of people listening are going, “Well, can I raise my hand and be like, I didn’t get a deal in my first 30 days like that last podcast I heard.” I do have a lot of side conversations where people go, “I’ve been really struggling for like a year or two years to really even get a deal or get in front of the seller.” So actually, I find this version to be more common, although it’s not necessarily always highlighted. So that’s why I think this is going to be such a great talk. So, Eric, what do you think was maybe the challenge of getting in front of the homeowner? What were you trying? What was the disconnect? Because I think this is going to help a lot of people.

Eric Wargo:
My phone never rang. So I tried Google ads, I tried door hangers, just going door to door through neighborhoods. And everyone I talked to, or I put a door hanger on their door, or I’d get the foreclosure list. I’d knock on everybody’s door. There was just no interest.

James Walters:
You did the signs. [crosstalk 00:04:48].

Eric Wargo:
I actually got two calls out of abandoned signs. One, I actually was able to close, but it took like six months. And then the other one, I didn’t have a contract on it, so even though he’d said yes, I didn’t have one. And so I told him I had to go home to grab one. And then I never heard from him again.

Chris Arnold:
Wow.

Eric Wargo:
I stopped by. I called, texts. I couldn’t get a hold of him. So now, people are calling me.

Chris Arnold:
I bet you felt in a way, you were kind of spinning your wheels. Here’s what I want to know. What was the conversation you were having with yourself during that time? Because I can imagine there was a little bit of a mental battle, emotional battle going on there, right? Like, dude, why am I not getting the traction and so forth? So what were you telling yourself during that time, and not to get too discouraged and keep pushing through, persevering?

Eric Wargo:
I guess in order to not get discouraged, I just kept thinking about all the other wholesalers I know who, somehow they’re getting deals. These are happening somewhere. But one thing that was hard is all this stuff I looked up, or I’d Google and I’d find all these coaches willing to help with all this, whether they charged or not, that they all started off with, once you get a deal, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then great information, once you get a deal. I’m like, no, let’s go back. I have no problem with that part.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah. Take a step back to like, how do we actually find and get a first deal?

Eric Wargo:
Yeah. [crosstalk 00:06:12] My first deal, I made $100,000. I really doubt you did. But that’s all I want is a couple deals. So then that’s where James found one of your podcasts.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah. So, and again, I applaud you for sticking with it and being persistent and not giving up, because now look at this, you’re on a podcast, and we’re about to talk about how this story takes a turn for the better, right? So you guys partner up three months ago. James, you hear a podcast about radio, and you’re like, “Hey, if we’re going to start this partnership, why don’t we start it on the marketing channel of radio?” Now this is super interesting to me, because this is like, hey, I’ve been in real estate for a year or two. And I’ve been cold calling and RBMing, and now I want to layer on radio. We’re going to try to utilize this thing to be the catalyst for this entire partnership. And so I want to know what you were thinking, James, why radio? Why utilize this as a key piece?

James Walters:
Yeah. So, I love podcasts. I listen to podcasts about everything, right? And I was one of those people that listened probably way too long in real estate before I jumped in. You know what I mean? I knew so much, but I never did anything. Eric actually pushed me in, got me to do a deal. I did a flip, it went well, it was super scary because I was signing on as COVID was hitting. It all went well, right? And after that, I knew I really like real estate. It’s a great place to be, right? And we were both already taught. We learned that we were looking for deals to flip in the beginning. How do we get deals so we can flip them? And I think one of those abandoned sign ones he did was a wholesale.
And we were talking about that, and we’re like, man, that sounds good. And I started listening to the wholesaling stuff, and I heard you on a podcast. And I was like, all right, let me call these guys and see what it’s about. And I talked to one of your guys, salesperson, I think, right? For REI Radio. And I talked to Eric because we were thinking like billboard. We were thinking about stuff like that. I’ve heard all the stories about sending mailers out and for what? I don’t have time for a lot of that stuff. You know what I mean? I just knew that it was going to be a process, right?

Chris Arnold:
So how’d you land on radio? How’d you go, “Okay. We’re going in on radio. We’re all in. Let’s do it.” What was the decision point for that?

James Walters:
Yeah, usually I’m the person that thinks about something for like a year. You know what I mean? Like overthinks it all. And I talked to Eric and I think we were just ready. And we were like, you know what? Let’s take the risk. Let’s just do it.

Chris Arnold:
Here’s what I like to call it. Let’s make a bold move here.

James Walters:
A bold move, yeah. And I mean, [crosstalk 00:08:55] being in marketing, and everything you guys talk about, the audience. And I was like, it makes sense. And it’s not invasive. That’s what I like about it. It was people come to us, and we’re not text messaging people and trying to beat down their door, right? They’re coming to us. I was like, “You know what, let’s do it.” And Eric’s like, “Let’s do it.” So we just got on board, and I was super scared to do it, but I’m very happy we did.

Chris Arnold:
Well, we’re going to talk some numbers here. So Eric, what about you? What attracted you to radio? To look at all of the options out there and go, “You know what? We’re going all in on this, pushing the chips in, let’s invest in this channel.” What made that decision for you?

Eric Wargo:
James brought it to my attention and I was like, I don’t think it’s going to work.

Chris Arnold:
I love it! It’s getting even better! So you’re skeptical.

Eric Wargo:
From the get-go, everybody’s-

Chris Arnold:
You’ve been in this for two years, trying all this stuff.

Eric Wargo:
Three years.

Chris Arnold:
Three, you’re skeptical at this point. You’re like, yeah.

Eric Wargo:
Yeah, I was super skeptical. I don’t know anyone else that does that. I have never called anybody because I heard an ad on a radio, ever. I don’t know anyone who calls on the radio or advertises. When James mentioned it, I was like, why not? Let’s give it a shot. And then he told me about your course. It’s like, I don’t know. Now we’ve got to spend money on this course. I don’t want to do it.

Chris Arnold:
That’s great.

Eric Wargo:
And I was like, nothing else is working. And billboards. The fee for billboards is huge. And the commitment is like, they want one year contracts. And I was like, I don’t know. That’s a huge gamble I’m not willing to play with.

Chris Arnold:
Absolutely. Okay, so you get pulled in a little bit kicking and screaming, right? And James is a little bit more clear on, hey, I think this is the direction we go. So, you guys launched radio. You’ve been up for three months at this point, right? You said previous to this, “I think I got two calls. So I’ll step up and do it.”

Eric Wargo:
Yeah, in almost three years.

Chris Arnold:
How many calls are you averaging a week off the one station that you picked up right now?

Eric Wargo:
I would say 20 to 25 calls a week.

Chris Arnold:
A week. Okay. One station. Now you got a nice sized station. So you’re spending how much per month off this one station?

Eric Wargo:
It’s $3,400 monthly.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah. And so you guys hear us, a lot of students primarily start with $1000 to $2000, but Eric and James came in and bought what I would call just a bigger, healthier station. Again, as you can tell, these guys were like, well, let’s just go for it. This is kind of the mentality. So off that station, you’re getting that many calls, which is awesome. And here’s another twist, which I mentioned at the top of the show. You didn’t go English-speaking, you actually chose a Spanish-speaking station.

Eric Wargo:
That is correct.

Chris Arnold:
Why did you decide to do that?

Eric Wargo:
It was the first one to say yes.

James Walters:
Yeah. We were seeking out English and Spanish. We knew the Spanish market here where we are is big, and Eric speaks Spanish. So we definitely were very intrigued and interested in it. But yeah, like Eric said, they were the first ones that said yes.

Chris Arnold:
So it was kind of like we’re going to go both at the same time, but you had the option there, obviously, because Eric speaks Spanish. So if you’re listening, I want to tell you something about radio. There’s virtually no competition on radio. If you want to draw another moat around you, meaning you could argue, okay, several years from now, more people are going to know about radio and be advertising. Just go over to the Spanish-speaking stations, which most people cannot handle, either because they don’t speak Spanish, or they don’t outsource and think to hire a Spanish-speaking acquisition manager or lead manager. I am telling you it’s wide open. Like no, no, no competition, completely untapped.
And so we would actually argue and tell you that utilizing Spanish is a very valuable play right now. Could in some markets even be stronger than English-speaking stations. So you probably haven’t heard us talk about this, but we have students that have done a great job of coming in and actually some, just so you guys know, Eric and James, intentionally chose Spanish from the very beginning. So people want to know what’s actually happened? You’re getting great call volume. You just closed a deal when?

Eric Wargo:
Two days ago.

Chris Arnold:
All right. So wholesale deal? Tell us a little bit about that deal. What was the profit margin on it? And how’d that feel?

Eric Wargo:
Felt great. Made $10K on that deal.

Chris Arnold:
So $10K? That’s a solid wholesale deal.

Eric Wargo:
It is. And it was in Galveston, Texas. So they called, they were a few months behind in payments, and it actually felt nice to be able to do something that I felt was helping somebody out, getting them out of a bind. And we made money on it.

Chris Arnold:
And what was the quality of that call? Did you have a lot of competition from other wholesalers? Did they come in really leery of who you were?

Eric Wargo:
No, they were super excited because I’m a native Spanish speaker. And so, we’re in Houston, so we’ve got people from all over the world here. We’re the number one diverse city in the United States.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah.

Eric Wargo:
And so when you can speak Spanish a little bit like the people already talk, if you can throw in a little bit of slang, it just makes the walls come down.

Chris Arnold:
Absolutely. And they heard you on radio. So you’re already trusted and seen as a local expert. And so you guys do a deal for 10. Now we were talking about this, your guys’s pipeline is just growing. You’re getting, we talked about earlier, momentum, and James, you were saying this month alone, December, you guys got another $25,000 coming in for December, is that right?

James Walters:
Yeah, we’ve got $25,000 planned to close, those are two deals, before the end of the year.

Chris Arnold:
Solid.

James Walters:
So yeah, I mean, like I said, the pipeline is full. I feel like we got a little leak, but I feel like we’re about to burst, because getting literally 20, 25 calls, sometimes more, a week is just a lot. I mean, honestly, we are super surprised. I mean, it’s a lot to handle, right? So we’re about to burst I feel like.

Chris Arnold:
You guys are hitting an untapped market again. That’s a great call volume, but you’re also getting in front of the Spanish audience that’s not getting this message. Again, English is, right? They’re getting postcards and RVM and texting, but you guys are literally hitting an untapped market, which I think is super cool.

Eric Wargo:
Almost everyone I’ve spoken to, I’ve asked if they’ve called anyone else, if they had any offers, almost all of them say zero. They’ve not called anyone else. I’m the only person they’re even talking to.

Chris Arnold:
And that’s exactly what we want, right? It’s going to be difficult to do deals if we got to go against five other wholesalers, rehabbers, or whatever that is. That’s one of my favorite parts, is the fact that once you go on these appointments, a lot of times you’re the only person, because you’re not doing something that’s list dependent, like cold calling, RVMing. So you’re the only one that they’ve actually talked to, to do a deal. So I think that that’s great.
I’m just curious. Now I want to go back to your story, Eric, two years, right? In the trench, just trying to shake things up. Nothing’s really falling out of the tree. Now you’re partnered up, fresh partnership. Three months in, already closed the deal off radio, took a risk, right? Rolled the dice, man, this thing’s working. Your pipeline’s building, you’ve got another $25K coming in. Where are you at mentally today? Which is different from, let’s say, longer than three months back before you partnered. I want to understand what’s happened up here. Here’s why it’s important. If I’m listening, I now want to go, “Okay, I’m listening. And I relate to Eric. I’m that guy. And now all of sudden I’m in this podcast and he’s on the other side. And now I’m inspired because I want to be like Eric and get on the other side of this.” Help people understand, what are you thinking now? Where’s your confidence? What has changed for you in this whole process?

Eric Wargo:
Okay. I have a big heart for missions and evangelism. So, I’m from Costa Rica originally. So that’s why I speak Spanish. So it’s a whole other world, right? Knowing other countries and all that. And I wanted to spend a lot of time in other countries, but nobody pays you to do that kind of stuff that I wanted to do. So that’s why I wanted to find a job that I could actually make money at doing without my presence and putting in hours. I feel like I wanted to get paid off my willingness to risk, and not by how many hours I work, is actually what I have written on my little board up here. And so I feel like wholesaling, and just real estate in general, is what allows me to do that. And then the risks-

Chris Arnold:
Wow, that’s powerful, man.

Eric Wargo:
So I know you live in Mexico. I would love to move back to Costa Rica or the Dominican Republic where we did missions for a while, and still be able to run this all at the same time. So that’s what I’m trying to set my life up for now, because I’d like to raise my kids with global awareness and a worldview.

James Walters:
Now, Eric, after three months, does that vision seem more attainable?

Chris Arnold:
Exactly what I was going to ask next, man. Is that now within your grasp? Can you actually begin to see it?

Eric Wargo:
I can. I know my wife has a little trouble seeing it, but I can see it, because I’m looking at it every day, but I can totally see it now. I don’t think it’s going to take that long to get there, either.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah.

Eric Wargo:
Not as long as I thought it might.

Chris Arnold:
Again, your story is unique, but the overall story in general is the same for all of us. And that is, we all have something in our hearts, something we’re passionate about, something we feel called to do. You might say it’s a particular purpose, whatever, but we feel that pull.

Eric Wargo:
Right.

Chris Arnold:
The problem we have is, at the bottom of every dream, for the most part, is money. So even if that dream is for the good and the sense of a cause, it still requires an economic engine to be able to do that. And man, my story is exactly with yours. I’m a seminary graduate. I went the real estate route because I just wanted a vehicle. I wanted a delivery system to impact the world, and I wanted to be able to write the check myself for it.

Eric Wargo:
Yeah.

Chris Arnold:
And I totally agree with you that real estate and investing allows us to do it, and everyone can fill in the blank. I want freedom to X. So if it’s, I want freedom to be a better father, a better wife, and be more present than my parents were. And to have that freedom and not have to go work a nine-to-five. I get a lot of people say there’s particular causes that they want to get in, but it’s freedom to do something. And what amazes me on this, and why I think I’m getting the most excited about this interview, is that the catalyst on this whole thing for you guys was, I think it’s two-fold, you guys chose to partner up. Again, I’m looking at your decision-making. Not working, not working, okay. I’m going to partner up. I think that’s a wise move.
And then I’m going to make a bold move on radio, because we need to get the phone to ring, and that pays off. And now you’re on the other side of this, and I’m just glad to be a part of that. Particularly because of your motivation to do this in the first place, which is, I mean, literally, right after my own heart, and that’s missions, evangelism, all that type of stuff, figuring out how we can go out and impact the world. So what a great, great story. So wrapping up, well, let me say this, first of all, if you’re listening, as always, if you want to take a look and not just listen, or you’re more of a YouTube person, you can always go subscribe and actually watch us on YouTube. So just go to Chris Arnold Real Estate, that’s for sure.
And then of course, if you’re listening and you’re like, man, this is a good story. This guy’s as skeptical as I am. And he decided to step into this, and I see the power of this whole radio thing. We just keep talking about it again and again, because it works so well as a great marketing channel. Particularly even if you’re new, go check it out. Go to wholesalinginc.com/reiradio. Again, that’s wholesalinginc.com/reiradio and book a call. See if your market’s open. And if you’re hungry, trying to find another marketing channel, this might be the solution that you’re looking for, like it was a solution for Eric and James. So I want to wrap up with one question. It really goes to both of you. I will start with you, James, on your side. James, if someone’s listening, trying to figure out what they should do next, wondering if radio is a fit, what would you tell them at this point? They’re like, man, should I make this decision? Should I push in my chips on this channel? Is this really the best thing? What would you tell him?

James Walters:
I mean, I’m on the other side of this, right? And I definitely would put my chips in it. Really, one thing that really drew me to radio, too, is that, again, I said it earlier. It’s not invasive, right? I love the idea that they are coming to you, and you’re not prying into their private life. And that part of it makes it just a better feel overall. But to get people to ring your phone, I mean, yeah, I say, go in, man, you got to go in.

Chris Arnold:
Great word, invasive. I like that. I think that the spam-based approach marketing that a lot of people are doing is invasive.

James Walters:
Oh yeah. I mean, it is. I mean, how many people do you know? I can go talk to anybody, when I mention wholesaling to even my friends, they’re like, “Oh yeah, I got a text message. Was that you?”

Chris Arnold:
I got that postcard in the mail. What about you, Eric? Bring it home. Somebody listening. Hey, should I do this thing? Is this a good fit? What would you tell them to consider or think about? Because again, people listen to these podcasts and then they’re left to make decisions. Like, should I do cold calling? Should I do radio? Should I do whatever? So what would you tell them?

Eric Wargo:
I have two thoughts. So the first would be that you should absolutely do it. Originally James and I were thinking about picking up an English station and a Spanish station. We don’t have capacity to pick up another. So we’re going to have to start figuring out how to do that. It would obviously have to be an English one, right? I couldn’t handle doing another one. So absolutely do it. I’ve been talking to all of my local flippers that I know around here, the ones who got me in this, and they’re all struggling to find deals, even the guy with 25 years of experience, he started me on this, talks about how hard it is to find a deal. And so I would say, absolutely do it.

Chris Arnold:
You better be real quiet. Like, how’s business for you? Oh, you know. Just trying to get by. Like you’re being hush-hush about it.

Eric Wargo:
But now I’m sending him deals to look at. And so tables are trying to turn a little bit. And then another thing, my second point is that, I told a buddy of mine, he’s in another city, so he wouldn’t be competition for me or anything, I was going to start doing radio and he got so excited, he went out and did it. Not having gone through the course, he went out and did it. And then I’ve asked him about it, how’s it going? And he said, “I’ve given up on real estate altogether. I got zero calls.” And I was like, really? Tell me about the radio station. And it turns out it was a radio station that’s like young and trendy people, which was to me already a negative.

Chris Arnold:
You’re like, nope. [crosstalk 00:24:19].

Eric Wargo:
That’s why you’re not getting calls. That’s one big reason, right? Well, sorry, the station is geared for younger college people who lived in Waco and Baylor University. So it’s geared for those people. They don’t even own homes. So he had a lot of friends tell him, “I heard you on the radio,” but that didn’t help his business out. And then I think that also the big trip was knowing how much to pay for it. Since I didn’t explain all that to him, that’s kind of the bread and butter of the whole thing.

James Walters:
I mean, yeah, the course is worth every penny, because there’s no way that we could navigate that-

Eric Wargo:
Yeah, for sure.

Chris Arnold:
There’s no way you can navigate it on your own. And again, it took me 10 years, and I paid a lot of money to a lot of coaches to learn what I learned how to do. Some things you can copy. Go watch some YouTube videos, figure out how to do it. But I’ve seen some people try, and again, maybe if you can do it for free, do it for free. But I’ve seen some people try to sidestep the program and do it. And radio has too many variables to have to decide on, to get them perfectly lined up, in order so that stations produce at the level that it does.

Eric Wargo:
The course is short, but I would say it’s worth it. All the things you guys started talking about, the words you use, I didn’t even know what they were. QMS, rankers, never heard of these terms, but I asked for them and I got them. And then now we got [inaudible 00:25:40].

Chris Arnold:
I love you, man. Well, I’m super proud of you guys, man. I think it’s such a great story. I think this is a really raw, what I would call inspirational story that most people are listening and resonating with. And so I want to thank you guys for coming on. Love that you guys are partnering. Wish you guys the best of luck. And of course we’re going to continue to be working together, and I’m going to help you guys grow that radio even more. So to the rest of you guys, thank you so much. And until next time, we will catch you soon to add more value. Talk to you later.

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